Gas caps to go down again
Wholesale prices are likely to fall another 10 cents on Monday
The state's wholesale price caps on gasoline are expected to take their biggest dip of 2006 next week.
Price caps, which represent the maximum at which wholesale gas can be sold in Hawaii, are forecast to drop by about 10 cents come Monday, according to Star-Bulletin calculations.
The state Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to post the new price caps later today.
The decrease comes on top of a 3-cent drop in the caps for this week.
Meanwhile, yesterday's statewide average was $2.87 a gallon across all islands, 57 cents above the national average, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.
By Monday, if wholesalers charged up to the maximum allowed by law, prices for regular unleaded are expected to range from $2.69 a gallon on Oahu to $3.06 a gallon on Lanai.
Hawaii's price caps are based on spot wholesale prices in three mainland markets, which follow trends in crude oil prices.
The drop in the price caps comes as crude-oil prices fell more than $2 a barrel yesterday after the U.S. Department of Energy lowered its global oil demand estimate, and as traders expect the agency to report an increase in U.S. oil inventories today.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery fell $2.02 to settle at $63.09 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dropping as low as $63 a barrel.
Fears over possible disruptions to the Iranian oil supply because of its nuclear ambitions took a back seat to the sense that overall, energy supplies are ample.
Star-Bulletin estimates are based on a five-day average of commodities prices listed by Bloomberg News Service. Those prices vary slightly from benchmarks published by the Oil Price Information Service, which is used by the Public Utilities Commission in setting the weekly price caps. Estimates have differed by as little as a fraction of a cent to as much as 5 cents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.